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Aldous Leonard Huxley

生日
出生地 Godalming, Surrey, England, United Kingdom (英国)
逝世 1963年11月22日 (69)
Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, California, United States
直系亲属

父母—Leonard HuxleyJulia Frances Huxley
妻—Laura ArcheraMaria Nijs
子女—nn HuxleyMatthew Huxley
兄弟姐妹—Sir Julian Sorell Huxley, FRS; Noel Trevelyan Huxley; Margaret Arnold HuxleyThomas Huxley
异母/异父兄弟姐妹—Maj. David Bruce HuxleySir Andrew Fielding Huxley, Nobel Prize

Occupation: Author
管理员 Carlos F. Bunge
最近更新

About Aldous Huxley

Aldous Leonard Huxley was an English writer, novelist, philosopher, and prominent member of the Huxley family. He graduated from Balliol College at the University of Oxford with a first class honours in English literature.

The author of nearly fifty books, he was best known for his novels including Brave New World, set in a dystopian future; for non-fiction works, such as The Doors of Perception, which recalls experiences when taking a psychedelic drug; and a wide-ranging output of essays. Early in his career Huxley edited the magazine Oxford Poetry and published short stories and poetry. Mid career and later, he published travel writing, film stories, and scripts. He spent the later part of his life in the United States, living in Los Angeles from 1937 until his death. In 1962, a year before his death, he was elected Companion of Literature by the Royal Society of Literature.

Huxley was a humanist, pacifist, and satirist. He later became interested in spiritual subjects such as parapsychology and philosophical mysticism, in particular universalism. By the end of his life, Huxley was widely acknowledged as one of the pre-eminent intellectuals of his time. He was nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature in seven different years.

Aldous Huxley was born in Godalming, Surrey, UK in 1894. He was the third son of the writer and schoolmaster Leonard Huxley and his first wife, Julia Arnold who founded Prior's Field School. Julia was the niece of educator Matthew Arnold and the sister of Mrs. Humphrey Ward. Aldous was the grandson of Thomas Henry Huxley, the zoologist, agnostic and controversialist ("Darwin's Bulldog").

His brother Julian Huxley and half-brother Andrew Huxley also became outstanding biologists. Huxley had another brother, Noel Trevenen (1891–1914), who committed suicide after a period of clinical depression.

Huxley began his learning in his father's well-equipped botanical laboratory, then continued in a school named Hillside. His teacher was his mother who supervised him for several years until she became terminally ill. After Hillside, he was educated at Eton College. Huxley's mother died in 1908, when he was 14. In 1911, he suffered an illness (keratitis punctata) which "left [him] practically blind for two to three years". Aldous's near-blindness disqualified him from service in the First World War. Once his eyesight recovered sufficiently, he was able to study English literature at Balliol College, Oxford. In 1916 he edited Oxford Poetry and later graduated with first class honours. His brother Julian wrote,

I believe his blindness was a blessing in disguise. For one thing, it put an end to his idea of taking up medicine as a career... His uniqueness lay in his universalism. He was able to take all knowledge for his province.

Following his education at Balliol, Huxley was financially indebted to his father and had to earn a living. He taught French for a year at Eton, where Eric Blair (later known by the pen name George Orwell) and Stephen Runciman were among his pupils, but was remembered as an incompetent and hopeless teacher who couldn’t keep discipline. Nevertheless, Blair and others were impressed by his use of words. For a short while in 1918, he was employed acquiring provisions at the Air Ministry.

Significantly, Huxley also worked for a time in the 1920s at the technologically-advanced Brunner and Mond chemical plant in Billingham, Teesside, and the most recent introduction to his famous science fiction novel Brave New World (1932) states that this experience of "an ordered universe in a world of planless incoherence" was one source for the novel.

Career

Huxley completed his first (unpublished) novel at the age of 17 and began writing seriously in his early 20s. His first published novels were social satires, beginning with Crome Yellow (1921).

Bloomsbury set Left to right: Bloomsbury Group members - Lady Ottoline Morrell, Maria Nys, Lytton Strachey, Duncan Grant, and Vanessa Bell.

During the First World War, Huxley spent much of his time at Garsington Manor, home of Lady Ottoline Morrell, working as a farm labourer. Here he met several Bloomsbury figures including Bertrand Russell and Clive Bell. Later, in Crome Yellow (1921) he caricatured the Garsington lifestyle. In 1919 he married Maria Nys a Belgian woman he met at Garsington; they had one son. The family lived in Italy part of the time in the 1920s, where Huxley would visit his friend D. H. Lawrence. Following Lawrence's death in 1930, Huxley edited Lawrence's letters (1933).

Works of this period included important novels on the dehumanizing aspects of scientific progress, most famously Brave New World, and on pacifist themes (for example, Eyeless in Gaza). In Brave New World Huxley portrays a society operating on the principles of mass production and Pavlovian conditioning. Huxley was strongly influenced by F. Matthias Alexander and included him as a character in Eyeless in Gaza.

The U.S.

In 1937, Huxley moved to Hollywood, California with his wife Maria, son Matthew, and friend Gerald Heard. He lived in the U.S., mainly in southern California, until his death, but also for a time in Taos, New Mexico, where he wrote Ends and Means (published in 1937). In this work he examines the fact that although most people in modern civilization agree that they want a world of "liberty, peace, justice, and brotherly love", they have not been able to agree on how to achieve it.

Heard introduced Huxley to Vedanta (Veda-Centric Hinduism), meditation, and vegetarianism through the principle of ahimsa. In 1938 Huxley befriended J. Krishnamurti, whose teachings he greatly admired. He also became a Vedantist in the circle of Hindu Swami Prabhavananda, and introduced Christopher Isherwood to this circle. Not long after, Huxley wrote his book on widely held spiritual values and ideas, The Perennial Philosophy, which discussed the teachings of renowned mystics of the world. Huxley's book affirmed a sensibility that insists there are realities beyond the generally accepted "five senses" and that there is genuine meaning for humans beyond both sensual satisfactions and sentimentalities.

Huxley became a close friend of Remsen Bird, president of Occidental College. He spent much time at the college, which is in the Eagle Rock neighborhood of Los Angeles. The college appears as "Tarzana College" in his satirical novel After Many a Summer (1939). The novel won Huxley that year's James Tait Black Memorial Prize for fiction.[7] Huxley also incorporated Bird into the novel.

During this period Huxley earned some Hollywood income as a writer. In March 1938, his friend Anita Loos, a novelist and screenwriter, put him in touch with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer who hired Huxley for Madame Curie which was originally to star Greta Garbo and be directed by George Cukor. (The film was eventually filmed by MGM in 1943 with a different director and stars.) Huxley received screen credit for Pride and Prejudice (1940) and was paid for his work on a number of other films, including Jane Eyre (1944).

However, his experience in Hollywood was not a success. When he wrote a synopsis of Alice in Wonderland, Walt Disney rejected it on the grounds that "he could only understand every third word". Huxley's leisurely development of ideas, it seemed, was not suitable for the movie moguls, who demanded fast, dynamic dialogue above all else. For Dick Huemer, during the 1940s, Huxley went to the first of a five meetings' session to elaborate the script of Alice in Wonderland but never came again. For author John Grant, although the movie's character, the Caterpillar displays some characteristics familiar from Huxley's discussion of his experiments with hallucinogens, Huxley's contribution to the movie is nonexistent.

On 21 October 1949, Huxley wrote to George Orwell, author of Nineteen Eighty-Four, congratulating Orwell on "how fine and how profoundly important the book is". In his letter to Orwell, he predicted:

Within the next generation I believe that the world's leaders will discover that infant conditioning and narco-hypnosis are more efficient, as instruments of government, than clubs and prisons, and that the lust for power can be just as completely satisfied by suggesting people into loving their servitude as by flogging them and kicking them into obedience.

Post World War II

After the Second World War Huxley applied for United States citizenship. His application was continuously deferred on the grounds that he would not say he would take up arms to defend the U.S. He claimed a philosophical, rather than a religious objection, and therefore was not exempt under the McCarran Act.[12] So, he withdrew his application. Nevertheless, he remained in the country, and in 1959 he turned down an offer of a Knight Bachelor by the Macmillan government. During the 1950s Huxley's interest in the field of psychical research grew keener, and his later works are strongly influenced by both mysticism and his experiences with psychedelic drugs.

In October 1930, the English occultist Aleister Crowley dined with Huxley in Berlin, and to this day rumours persist that Crowley introduced Huxley to peyote on that occasion. He was introduced to mescaline (considered to be the key active ingredient of peyote) by the psychiatrist Humphry Osmond in 1953.[13] Through Dr. Osmond, Huxley met millionaire Alfred Matthew Hubbard who would deal with LSD on a wholesale basis.[14] On 24 December 1955, Huxley took his first dose of LSD. Indeed, Huxley was a pioneer of self-directed psychedelic drug use "in a search for enlightenment", famously taking 100 micrograms of LSD as he lay dying. His psychedelic drug experiences are described in the essays The Doors of Perception (the title deriving from some lines in the book The Marriage of Heaven and Hell by William Blake), and Heaven and Hell. Some of his writings on psychedelics became frequent reading among early hippies[citation needed]. While living in Los Angeles, Huxley was a friend of Ray Bradbury. According to Sam Weller's biography of Bradbury, the latter was dissatisfied with Huxley, especially after Huxley encouraged Bradbury to take psychedelic drugs.

Association with Vedanta

Beginning in 1939 and continuing until his death in 1963, Huxley had an extensive association with the Vedanta Society of Southern California, founded and headed by Swami Prabhavananda. Together with Gerald Heard, Christopher Isherwood, and other followers he was initiated by the Swami and was taught meditation and spiritual practices.

In 1944 Huxley wrote the introduction to the "Bhagavad Gita: The Song of God",[15] translated by Swami Prabhavanada and Christopher Isherwood, which was published by The Vedanta Society of Southern California.

From 1941 through 1960 Huxley contributed 48 articles to Vedanta and the West, published by the Society. He also served on the editorial board with Isherwood, Heard, and playwright John van Druten from 1951 through 1962.

Huxley also occasionally lectured at the Hollywood and Santa Barbara Vedanta temples. Two of those lectures have been released on CD: Knowledge and Understanding and Who Are We from 1955.

After the publication of The Doors of Perception, Huxley and the Swami disagreed about the meaning and importance of the LSD drug experience, which may have caused the relationship to cool, but Huxley continued to write articles for the Society's journal, lecture at the temple, and attend social functions.

Eyesight

With respect to details about the true quality of Huxley's eyesight at specific points in his life, there are differing accounts. Around 1939, Huxley encountered the Bates Method for better eyesight, and a teacher, Margaret Corbett, who was able to teach him in the method. In 1940, Huxley relocated from Hollywood to a 40-acre (160,000 m2) ranchito in the high desert hamlet of Llano, California in northernmost Los Angeles County. Huxley then said that his sight improved dramatically with the Bates Method and the extreme and pure natural lighting of the southwestern American desert. He reported that for the first time in over 25 years, he was able to read without glasses and without strain. He even tried driving a car along the dirt road beside the ranch. He wrote a book about his successes with the Bates Method, The Art of Seeing which was published in 1942 (US), 1943 (UK). It was from this period, with the publication of the generally disputed theories contained in the latter book, that a growing degree of popular controversy arose over the subject of Huxley’s eyesight.

It was, and to a noticeable extent, still is widely held that, for most of his life, since the illness in his teens which left Huxley nearly blind, that his eyesight was exceedingly poor (despite the partial recovery which had enabled him to study at Oxford). For instance, some ten years after publication of The Art of Seeing, in 1952, Bennett Cerf was present when Huxley spoke at a Hollywood banquet, wearing no glasses and apparently reading his paper from the lectern without difficulty: "Then suddenly he faltered—and the disturbing truth became obvious. He wasn't reading his address at all. He had learned it by heart. To refresh his memory he brought the paper closer and closer to his eyes. When it was only an inch or so away he still couldn't read it, and had to fish for a magnifying glass in his pocket to make the typing visible to him. It was an agonizing moment."[16]

On the other hand, Huxley's second wife, Laura Archera Huxley, would later emphasize in her biographical account, This Timeless Moment: "One of the great achievements of his life: that of having regained his sight." Here, she portrays the accomplishment as both metaphorical and considerably physiological in nature, attributing that which she cites J. Krishnamurti as naming the spirit of "freedom from the known", which she suggests that Huxley applied, non-exhaustively, in writing The Art of Seeing and utilizing the Bates Method. After revealing a letter she wrote to the Los Angeles Times disclaiming the label of Huxley as a "poor fellow who can hardly see" by Walter C. Alvarez, she tempers this: "Although I feel it was an injustice to treat Aldous as though he were blind, it is true there were many indications of his impaired vision. For instance, although Aldous did not wear glasses, he would quite often use a magnifying lens."[17] Laura Huxley proceeds to elaborate a few nuances of inconsistency peculiar to Huxley's vision. Her account, in this respect, is discernibly congruent with the following sample of Huxley's own words from The Art of Seeing. "The most characteristic fact about the functioning of the total organism, or any part of the organism, is that it is not constant, but highly variable." Nevertheless, the topic of Huxley’s eyesight continues to endure similar, significant controversy, regardless of how trivial a subject matter it might initially appear.[18]

Personal life

He married Maria Nys (10 September 1899 – 12 February 1955), a Belgian woman he met at Garsington, in 1919. They had one child, Matthew Huxley (19 April 1920 – 10 February 2005), who had a career as an epidemiologist. In 1955, Maria died of breast cancer.

In 1956 he married Laura Archera (1911–2007), also an author. She wrote This Timeless Moment, a biography of Huxley. In 1960 Huxley himself was diagnosed with laryngeal cancer, and in the years that followed, with his health deteriorating, he wrote the Utopian novel Island,[19] and gave lectures on "Human Potentialities" at the Esalen institute, which were fundamental to the forming of the Human Potential Movement.

Death

On his deathbed, unable to speak, Huxley made a written request to his wife for "LSD, 100 µg, intramuscular". According to her account of his death, in This Timeless Moment, she obliged with an injection at 11:45 am and another a couple of hours later. He died at 5:21 pm on 22 November 1963, aged 69. Huxley's ashes were interred in the family grave at the Watts Cemetery, home of the Watts Mortuary Chapel in Compton, a village near Guildford, Surrey, England.[20]

Media coverage of his death was overshadowed by the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, on the same day, as was the death of the Irish author C. S. Lewis who also died on 22 November. This coincidence was the inspiration for Peter Kreeft's book Between Heaven and Hell: A Dialog Somewhere Beyond Death with John F. Kennedy, C. S. Lewis, & Aldous Huxley.

Huxley was survived by his only child, Matthew Huxley, an author, as well as an educator, anthropologist, and prominent epidemiologist. Aldous Huxley is also survived by two grandchildren.

Awards
  • 1939 James Tait Black Memorial Prize for After Many a Summer Dies the Swan.
  • 1959 Aldous Huxley American Academy of Arts and Letters Award of Merit for Brave New World.
  • 1962 the Companion of Literature by the Royal Society of Literature.[21]
Film adaptations of Huxley's work
  • 1968 Point Counter Point BBC mini-series by Simon Raven.
  • 1971 The Devils (Ken Russell) adapted Huxley's The Devils of Loudun.
  • 1998 US TV adaptation of Brave New World
  • scheduled 2011 Brave New World by Ridley Scott and Leonardo DiCaprio [22]
Selected works
Novels
  • * Crome Yellow (1921)
  • * Antic Hay (1923)
  • * Those Barren Leaves (1925)
  • * Point Counter Point (1928)
  • * Brave New World (1932)
  • * Eyeless in Gaza (1936)
  • * After Many a Summer Dies the Swan (1939)
  • * Time Must Have a Stop (1944)
  • * Ape and Essence (1948)
  • * The Genius and the Goddess (1955)
  • * Island (1962)
Short stories collections
  • * Limbo (1920)
  • * Mortal Coils (1922)
  • * Little Mexican (U.S. title: Young Archimedes) (1924)
  • * Two or Three Graces (1926)
  • * Brief Candles (1930)
  • * Jacob's Hands: A Fable (discovered 1997) co-written with Christopher Isherwood
  • * Collected Short Stories (1957)
  • * Twice seven (Huxley)Fourteen selected stories (1944)
Poetry collections
  • * Oxford Poetry (magazine editor) (1916)
  • * The Burning Wheel (1916)
  • * Jonah (1917)
  • * The Defeat of Youth and Other Poems (1918)
  • * Leda (1920)
  • * Selected Poems (1925)
  • * Arabia Infelix and Other Poems (1929)
  • * The Cicadas and Other Poems (1931)
  • * Collected Poems (1971, posthumous)
Essay collections
  • * On the Margin (1923)
  • * Along the Road (1925)
  • * Essays New and Old (1926)
  • * Proper Studies (1927)
  • * Do What You Will (1929)
  • * Vulgarity in Literature (1930)
  • * Music at Night (1931)
  • * Texts and Pretexts (1932)
  • * The Olive Tree and other essays (1936)
  • * Ends and Means (1937)
  • * Words and their Meanings (1940)
  • * The Art of Seeing (1942)
  • * The Perennial Philosophy (1945)
  • * Science, Liberty and Peace (1946)
  • * Themes and Variations (1950)
  • * The Doors of Perception (1954)
  • * Heaven and Hell (1956)
  • * Adonis and the Alphabet (U.S. title: Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow) (1956)
  • * Collected Essays (1958)
  • * Brave New World Revisited (1958)
  • * Literature and Science (1963)
  • * Moksha: Writings on Psychedelics and the Visionary Experience 1931-63 (1977)
  • * The Human Situation: Lectures at Santa Barbara, 1959 (1977)
Screenplays
  • * Brave New World
  • * Ape and Essence
  • * Pride and Prejudice (Collaboration. 1940)
  • * Madame Curie (Collaboration. 1943)
  • * Jane Eyre (Collaboration with John Houseman. 1944)
  • * A Woman's Vengeance 1947
  • * Original screenplay for Disney's animated Alice in Wonderland 1951 (rejected) [23]
  • * Eyeless in Gaza BBC Mini-series (Collaboration with Robin Chapman. Aired 1971)[24]
Travel books
  • * Along The Road: Notes and essays of a tourist (1925)
  • * Jesting Pilate: The Diary of a Journey (1926)
  • * Beyond the Mexique Bay: A traveller's Journey (1934)
Children's fiction
  • * The Crows of Pearblossom (1967)
  • * The Travails and Tribulations of Geoffrey Peacock (1967)
Drama
  • * The Discovery (adapted from Francis Sheridan, 1924)
  • * The World of Light (1931)
  • * Mortal Coils - A Play. (Stage version of The Gioconda Smile, 1948)
  • * The Genius and the Goddess (stage version, co-written with Betty Wendel, 1958)
  • * The Ambassador of Captripedia (1967)
Articles written for Vedanta and the West
  • * Distractions (1941)
  • * Distractions II (1941)
  • * Action and Contemplation (1941)
  • * An Appreciation (1941)
  • * The Yellow Mustard (1941)
  • * Lines (1941)
  • * Some Replections of the Lord's Prayer (1941)
  • * Reflections of the Lord's Prayer (1942)
  • * Reflections of the Lord's Prayer II (1942)
  • * Words and Reality (1942)
  • * Readings in Mysticism (1942)
  • * Man and Reality (1942)
  • * The Magical and the Spiritual (1942)
  • * Religion and Time (1943)
  • * Idolatry (1943)
  • * Religion and Temperament (1943)
  • * A Note on the Bhagavatam (1943)
  • * Seven Meditations (1943)
  • * On a Sentence From Shakespeare (1944)
  • * The Minimum Working Hypothesis (1944)
  • * From a Notebook (1944)
  • * The Philosophy of the Saints (1944)
  • * That Art Thou (1945)
  • * That Art Thou II (1945)
  • * The Nature of the Ground (1945)
  • * The Nature of the Ground II (1945)
  • * God In the World (1945)
  • * Origins and Consequences of Some Contemporary Thought-Patterns (1946)
  • * The Sixth Patriarch (1946)
  • * Some Reflections on Time (1946)
  • * Reflections on Progress (1947)
  • * Further Reflections on Progress (1947)
  • * William Law (1947)
  • * Notes on Zen (1947)
  • * Give Us This Day Our Daily Bread (1948)
  • * A Note on Gandhi (1948)
  • * Art and Religion (1949)
  • * Foreword to an Essay on the Indian Philosophy of Peace (1950)
  • * A Note on Enlightenment (1952)
  • * Substitutes for Liberation (1952)
  • * The Desert (1954)
  • * A Note on Patanjali (1954)
  • * Who Are We? (1955)
  • * Foreword to the Supreme Doctrine (1956)
  • * Knowledge and Understanding (1956)
  • * The "Inanimate" is Alive (1957)
  • * Symbol and Immediate Experience (1960)
Other
  • * The Devils of Loudun (1953)
  • * Grey Eminence (1941)
  • * Selected Letters (2007)
Bibliography
  • * Charles J. Rolo (ed.),The World of Aldous Huxley, Grosset Universal Library, 1947.
  • * John Atkins, Aldous Huxley: A Literary Study, J. Calder, 1956
  • * Nicholas Murray, Aldous Huxley, Macmillan, 2003, ISBN 0312302375
  • * Laura Archera Huxley, This Timeless Moment, Celestial Arts, 2001, ISBN 0890879689
  • * Sybille Bedford, Aldous Huxley: A Biography, Harper and Row, 1974, rev. ed., Ivan R. Dee, 2002 ISBN 1566634547
  • * James Sexton (ed.), Aldous Huxley: Selected Letters, Ivan R. Dee, 2007, ISBN 1566636292
  • * David King Dunaway, Huxley in Hollywood, HarperCollins 1990, ISBN 0385415915
  • * Aldous Huxley, The Human Situation: Aldous Huxley Lectures at Santa Barbara 1959, Flamingo Modern Classic, 1994, ISBN 0006547327
  • * Conrad Watt (ed.), Aldous Huxley, Routledge, 1997, ISBN 0415159159
  • * Dana Sawyer, Aldous Huxley, Crossroad Publishing Co., 2002, ISBN 0824519872
  • * Jerome Meckier, Aldous Huxley: modern satirical novelist of ideas, Firchow and Nugel editors, LIT Verlag Berlin-Hamburg-Münster, 2006, ISBN 3825896683

GEDCOM Note

Aldous Leonard Huxley (26 July 1894 22 November 1963) was an English writer and philosopher.[1][2][3][4] He wrote nearly fifty books[5][6]both novels and non-fiction worksas well as wide-ranging essays, narratives, and poems.

Born into the prominent Huxley family, he graduated from Balliol College, Oxford with an undergraduate degree in English literature. Early in his career, he published short stories and poetry and edited the literary magazine Oxford Poetry, before going on to publish travel writing, satire, and screenplays. He spent the latter part of his life in the United States, living in Los Angeles from 1937 until his death.[7] By the end of his life, Huxley was widely acknowledged as one of the foremost intellectuals of his time.[8] He was nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature seven times[9] and was elected Companion of Literature by theRoyal Society of Literature in 1962.[10]

Huxley was a humanist and pacifist. He grew interested in philosophicalmysticism[11][12] and universalism,[13] addressing these subjects withworks such as The Perennial Philosophy (1945)which illustrates commonalities between Western and Eastern mysticismand The Doors of Perception (1954)which interprets his own psychedelic experience with mescaline. In his most famous novel Brave New World (1932) and his final novel Island (1962), he presented his vision of dystopia and utopia, respectively. Huxley was born in Godalming, Surrey, England, in 1894. He was the third son of the writer and schoolmaster Leonard Huxley, who edited Cornhill Magazine,[14] and his first wife, Julia Arnold, who founded Prior's Field School. Julia was the niece of poet and critic Matthew Arnold and the sister of Mrs. Humphry Ward. Aldous was the grandson of Thomas Henry Huxley, the zoologist, agnostic, and controversialist ("Darwin's Bulldog"). His brother Julian Huxley and half-brother Andrew Huxley also became outstanding biologists. Aldous had another brother, Noel Trevenen Huxley (18891914), who took his own life after a period of clinical depression.[15]

As a child, Huxley's nickname was "Ogie", short for "Ogre".[16] He was described by his brother, Julian, as someone who frequently "[contemplated] the strangeness of things".[16] According to his cousin and contemporary, Gervas Huxley, he had an early interest in drawing.[16]

Huxley's education began in his father's well-equipped botanical laboratory, after which he enrolled at Hillside School near Godalming.[17][18] He was taught there by his own mother for several years until she became terminally ill. After Hillside he went on to Eton College. His mother died in 1908, when he was 14 (his father later remarried). He contracted the eye disease keratitis punctata in 1911; this "left [him] practically blind for two to three years."[19] This "ended his early dreams of becoming a doctor."[20] In October 1913, Huxley entered Balliol College, Oxford, where he studied English literature.[21] He volunteered for the British Army in January 1916, for the Great War; however, he was rejected on health grounds, being half-blind in one eye.[21] His eyesight later partly recovered. He edited Oxford Poetry in 1916, and in Juneof that year graduated BA with first class honours.[21] His brother Julian wrote:

I believe his blindness was a blessing in disguise. For one thing, it put paid to his idea of taking up medicine as a career ... His uniqueness lay in his universalism. He was able to take all knowledge for his province.[22]

Following his years at Balliol, Huxley, being financially indebted to his father, decided to find employment. He taught French for a year at Eton College, where Eric Blair (who was to take the pen name George Orwell) and Steven Runciman were among his pupils. He was mainly rememberedas being an incompetent schoolmaster unable to keep order in class. Nevertheless, Blair and others spoke highly of his excellent command of language.[23]

Significantly, Huxley also worked for a time during the 1920s at Brunner and Mond, an advanced chemical plant in Billingham in County Durham, northeast England. According to the introduction to the latest edition of his science fiction novel Brave New World (1932), the experience he had there of "an ordered universe in a world of planless incoherence" was an important source for the novel.[24] Huxley completed his first (unpublished) novel at the age of 17 and began writing seriously in his early twenties, establishing himself as a successful writer and social satirist. His first published novels were social satires, Crome Yellow (1921), Antic Hay (1923), Those Barren Leaves (1925), and Point Counter Point (1928). Brave New World was his fifth novel and first dystopian work. In the 1920s he was also a contributor to Vanity Fair and British Vogue magazines.[25]

During the First World War, Huxley spent much of his time at GarsingtonManor near Oxford, home of Lady Ottoline Morrell, working as a farm labourer. There he met several Bloomsbury Group figures, including Bertrand Russell, Alfred North Whitehead,[26] and Clive Bell. Later, in CromeYellow (1921) he caricatured the Garsington lifestyle. Jobs were very scarce, but in 1919 John Middleton Murry was reorganising the Athenaeumand invited Huxley to join the staff. He accepted immediately, and quickly married the Belgian refugee Maria Nys, also at Garsington.[27] They lived with their young son in Italy part of the time during the 1920s, where Huxley would visit his friend D. H. Lawrence. Following Lawrence's death in 1930, Huxley edited Lawrence's letters (1932).[28]

Works of this period included important novels on the dehumanising aspects of scientific progress, most famously Brave New World, and on pacifist themes (for example, Eyeless in Gaza). In Brave New World, set in adystopian London, Huxley portrays a society operating on the principles of mass production and Pavlovian conditioning. Huxley was strongly influenced by F. Matthias Alexander, and included him as a character in Eyeless in Gaza.

Beginning in this period, Huxley began to write and edit non-fiction works on pacifist issues, including Ends and Means, An Encyclopedia of Pacifism, and Pacifism and Philosophy, and was an active member of the Peace Pledge Union.[29] In 1937 Huxley moved to Hollywood with his wife Maria, son Matthew Huxley, and friend Gerald Heard. He lived in the U.S., mainly in southern California, until his death, and also for a time in Taos, New Mexico, where he wrote Ends and Means (published in 1937). The book contains tracts on war, religion, nationalism and ethics.

Heard introduced Huxley to Vedanta (Upanishad-centered philosophy), meditation, and vegetarianism through the principle of ahimsa. In 1938, Huxley befriended Jiddu Krishnamurti, whose teachings he greatly admired.Huxley and Krishnamurti entered into an enduring exchange (sometimes edging on debate) over many years, with Krishnamurti representing the more rarefied, detached, ivory-tower perspective and Huxley, with his pragmatic concerns, the more socially and historically informed position. Huxley provided an introduction to Krishnamurti's quintessential statement, The First and Last Freedom (1954).[30]

Huxley also became a Vedantist in the circle of Hindu Swami Prabhavananda, and introduced Christopher Isherwood to this circle. Not long afterward, Huxley wrote his book on widely held spiritual values and ideas, The Perennial Philosophy, which discussed the teachings of renowned mystics of the world. Huxley's book affirmed a sensibility that insists there are realities beyond the generally accepted "five senses" and that there is genuine meaning for humans beyond both sensual satisfactions and sentimentalities.

Huxley became a close friend of Remsen Bird, president of Occidental College. He spent much time at the college, which is in the Eagle Rock neighbourhood of Los Angeles. The college appears as "Tarzana College" inhis satirical novel After Many a Summer (1939). The novel won Huxley aBritish literary award, the 1939 James Tait Black Memorial Prize for fiction.[31] Huxley also incorporated Bird into the novel.

During this period, Huxley earned a substantial income as a Hollywood screenwriter; Christopher Isherwood, in his autobiography My Guru and His Disciple, states that Huxley earned more than $3,000 per week (an enormous sum in those days) as a screenwriter, and that he used much of itto transport Jewish and left-wing writer and artist refugees from Hitler's Germany to the US. In March 1938, Huxley's friend Anita Loos, a novelist and screenwriter, put him in touch with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM), which hired him for Madame Curie which was originally to star Greta Garbo and be directed by George Cukor. (Eventually, the film was completed by MGM in 1943 with a different director and cast.) Huxley receivedscreen credit for Pride and Prejudice (1940) and was paid for his workon a number of other films, including Jane Eyre (1944). He was commissioned by Walt Disney in 1945 to write a script based on Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and the biography of the story's author, Lewis Carroll. The script was not used, however.[32]

Huxley wrote an introduction to the posthumous publication of J. D. Unwin's 1940 book Hopousia or The Sexual and Economic Foundations of a NewSociety.[33]

On 21 October 1949, Huxley wrote to George Orwell, author of Nineteen Eighty-Four, congratulating him on "how fine and how profoundly important the book is." In his letter to Orwell, he predicted:

Within the next generation I believe that the world's leaders will discover that infant conditioning and narcohypnosis are more efficient, as instruments of government, than clubs and prisons, and that the lust for power can be just as completely satisfied by suggesting people into loving their servitude as by flogging them and kicking them into obedience.[34]

Huxley had deeply felt apprehensions about the future the developed world might make for itself. From these, he made some warnings in his writings and talks. In a 1958 televised interview conducted by journalist Mike Wallace, Huxley outlined several major concerns: the difficulties and dangers of world overpopulation; the tendency toward distinctly hierarchical social organisation; the crucial importance of evaluating the use of technology in mass societies susceptible to persuasion; the tendency to promote modern politicians to a naive public as well-marketed commodities.[35]

In the fall semester of 1960, Huxley was invited by Professor Huston Smith to be the Carnegie Visiting Professor of Humanities at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).[36] As part of the MIT centennial program of events organized by the Department of Humanities, Huxley presented a series of lectures titled, "What a Piece of Work is a Man" which concerned history, language, and art.[37] In 1953, Huxley and Maria applied for United States citizenship and presented themselves for examination. When Huxley refused to bear arms forthe U.S. and would not state that his objections were based on religious ideals, the only excuse allowed under the McCarran Act, the judge had to adjourn the proceedings.[38][39] He withdrew his application. Nevertheless, he remained in the U.S. In 1959 Huxley turned down an offer of a Knight Bachelor by the Macmillan government without putting forwarda reason; his brother Julian had been knighted in 1958, while another brother Andrew would be knighted in 1974.[40] Beginning in 1939 and continuing until his death in 1963, Huxley had anextensive association with the Vedanta Society of Southern California,founded and headed by Swami Prabhavananda. Together with Gerald Heard,Christopher Isherwood and other followers, he was initiated by the Swami and was taught meditation and spiritual practices.[13]

In 1944, Huxley wrote the introduction to the "Bhagavad Gita: The Song of God",[41] translated by Swami Prabhavananda and Christopher Isherwood, which was published by the Vedanta Society of Southern California.

From 1941 until 1960, Huxley contributed 48 articles to Vedanta and theWest, published by the society. He also served on the editorial board with Isherwood, Heard, and playwright John Van Druten from 1951 through1962.

Huxley also occasionally lectured at the Hollywood and Santa Barbara Vedanta temples. Two of those lectures have been released on CD: Knowledge and Understanding and Who Are We? from 1955. Nonetheless, Huxley's agnosticism, together with his speculative propensity, made it difficult for him to fully embrace any form of institutionalised religion.[42] In the spring of 1953, Huxley had his first experience with the psychedelic drug mescaline. Huxley had initiated a correspondence with Doctor Humphry Osmond, a British psychiatrist then employed in a Canadian institution, and eventually asked him to supply a dose of mescaline; Osmondobliged and supervised Huxley's session in southern California. After the publication of The Doors of Perception, in which he recounted this experience, Huxley and Swami Prabhavananda disagreed about the meaning and importance of the psychedelic drug experience, which may have caused the relationship to cool, but Huxley continued to write articles for the society's journal, lecture at the temple, and attend social functions. Huxley later had an experience on mescaline that he considered moreprofound than those detailed in The Doors of Perception.

Huxley wrote that "The mystical experience is doubly valuable; it is valuable because it gives the experiencer a better understanding of himself and the world and because it may help him to lead a less self-centered and more creative life."[43] Differing accounts exist about the details of the quality of Huxley's eyesight at specific points in his life. In about 1939 Huxley encountered the Bates method for better eyesight, and a teacher, Margaret Darst Corbett, who was able to teach the method to him. In 1940, Huxley relocated from Hollywood to a 40-acre (16 ha) ranchito in the high desert hamlet of Llano, California, in northern Los Angeles County. Huxley then said that his sight improved dramatically with the Bates Method and the extreme and pure natural lighting of the southwestern American desert. He reported that, for the first time in more than 25 years, he was ableto read without glasses and without strain. He even tried driving a car along the dirt road beside the ranch. He wrote a book about his successes with the Bates Method, The Art of Seeing, which was published in 1942 (U.S.), 1943 (UK). The book contained some generally disputed theories, and its publication created a growing degree of popular controversy about Huxley's eyesight.[44]

It was, and is, widely believed that Huxley was nearly blind since the illness in his teens, despite the partial recovery that had enabled himto study at Oxford. For example, some ten years after publication of The Art of Seeing, in 1952, Bennett Cerf was present when Huxley spoke at a Hollywood banquet, wearing no glasses and apparently reading his paper from the lectern without difficulty: "Then suddenly he falteredand the disturbing truth became obvious. He wasn't reading his address at all. He had learned it by heart. To refresh his memory he brought thepaper closer and closer to his eyes. When it was only an inch or so away he still couldn't read it, and had to fish for a magnifying glass inhis pocket to make the typing visible to him. It was an agonising moment".[45]

Brazilian author Joo Ubaldo Ribeiro, who as a young journalist spent several evenings in the Huxleys' company in the late 1950s, wrote that Huxley had said to him, with a wry smile, "I can hardly see at all. And I don't give a damn, really".[46]

On the other hand, Huxley's second wife, Laura Archera, later emphasised in her biographical account, This Timeless Moment: "One of the great achievements of his life: that of having regained his sight". After revealing a letter she wrote to the Los Angeles Times disclaiming the label of Huxley as a "poor fellow who can hardly see" by Walter C. Alvarez,she tempered her statement with, "Although I feel it was an injustice to treat Aldous as though he were blind, it is true there were many indications of his impaired vision. For instance, although Aldous did not wear glasses, he would quite often use a magnifying lens".[47] Laura Huxley proceeded to elaborate a few nuances of inconsistency peculiar to Huxley's vision. Her account, in this respect, agrees with the following sample of Huxley's own words from The Art of Seeing: "The most characteristic fact about the functioning of the total organism, or any part of the organism, is that it is not constant, but highly variable". Nevertheless, the topic of Huxley's eyesight continues to endure similar, significant controversy.[48]

American popular science author Steven Johnson, in his book Mind Wide Open, quotes Huxley about his difficulties with visual encoding: "I am and, for as long as I can remember, I have always been a poor visualizer. Words, even the pregnant words of poets, do not evoke pictures in my mind. No hypnagogic visions greet me on the verge of sleep. When I recall something, the memory does not present itself to me as a vividly seen event or object. By an effort of the will, I can evoke a not very vivid image of what happened yesterday afternoon ...".[49][50] Huxley married Maria Nys (10 September 1899 12 February 1955), a Belgian he met at Garsington, Oxfordshire, in 1919. They had one child, Matthew Huxley (19 April 1920 10 February 2005), who had a career asan author, anthropologist, and prominent epidemiologist.[51] In 1955, Maria Huxley died of cancer.[20]

In 1956, Huxley married Laura Archera (19112007), also an author, aswell as a violinist and psychotherapist.[20] She wrote This Timeless Moment, a biography of Huxley. She told the story of their marriage through Mary Ann Braubach's 2010 documentary, Huxley on Huxley.[52]

Huxley was diagnosed with laryngeal cancer in 1960; in the years that followed, with his health deteriorating, he wrote the Utopian novel Island,[53] and gave lectures on "Human Potentialities" both at the UCSF Medical Center and at the Esalen Institute. These lectures were fundamental to the beginning of the Human Potential Movement.[54]

Huxley was a close friend of Jiddu Krishnamurti and Rosalind Rajagopal and was involved in the creation of the Happy Valley School, now BesantHill School of Happy Valley, in Ojai, California.

The most substantial collection of Huxley's few remaining papers, following the destruction of most in a fire, is at the Library of the University of California, Los Angeles.[55] Some are also at the Stanford University Libraries.[56]

On 9 April 1962, Huxley was informed he was elected Companion of Literature by the Royal Society of Literature, the senior literary organisation in Britain, and he accepted the title via letter on 28 April 1962.[57] The correspondence between Huxley and the society are kept at the Cambridge University Library.[57] The society invited Huxley to appear ata banquet and give a lecture at Somerset House, London in June 1963. Huxley wrote a draft of the speech he intended to give at the society; however, his deteriorating health meant he was not able to attend.[57] On his deathbed, unable to speak owing to advanced laryngeal cancer, Huxley made a written request to his wife Laura for "LSD, 100 g, intramuscular." According to her account of his death[58] in This Timeless Moment, she obliged with an injection at 11:20 a.m. and a second dose an hour later; Huxley died aged 69, at 5:20 p.m. (Los Angeles time), on 22 November 1963.[59]

Media coverage of Huxley's death, along with that of fellow British author C. S. Lewis, was overshadowed by the assassination of American President John F. Kennedy on the same day, less than seven hours before Huxley's death.[60] In an article for New York magazine titled The Eclipsed Celebrity Death Club, Christopher Bonanos wrote,

The championship trophy for badly timed death, though, goes to a pair of British writers. Aldous Huxley, the author of Brave New World, died the same day as C. S. Lewis, who wrote the Chronicles of Narnia series. Unfortunately for both of their legacies, that day was November 22, 1963, just as John Kennedys motorcade passed the Texas School Book Depository. Huxley, at least, made it interesting: At his request, his wifeshot him up with LSD a couple of hours before the end, and he tripped his way out of this world.[61]

This coincidence served as the basis for Peter Kreeft's book Between Heaven and Hell: A Dialog Somewhere Beyond Death with John F. Kennedy, C.S. Lewis, & Aldous Huxley, which imagines a conversation among the three men taking place in Purgatory following their deaths.[62]

Huxley's memorial service took place in London in December 1963; it wasled by his elder brother Julian. On 27 October 1971[63] his ashes wereinterred in the family grave at the Watts Cemetery, home of the Watts Mortuary Chapel in Compton, Guildford, Surrey, England.[64]

Huxley had been a long-time friend of Russian composer Igor Stravinsky,who later dedicated his last orchestral composition to Huxley. Stravinsky began Variations in Santa F, New Mexico, in July 1963, and completed the composition in Hollywood on 28 October 1964. It was first performed in Chicago on 17 April 1965, by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra conducted by Robert Craft.[65][66]

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Aldous Huxley的年谱

1894
1894年7月26日
Godalming, Surrey, England, United Kingdom (英国)
1920
1920年4月19日
London, Greater London, UK
1963
1963年11月22日
69岁
Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, California, United States
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